By ANDY WOLF
FOR THE COURIER
Kamryn Troike fought through countless double teams throughout the entire first half, but was still able to dominate the paint and lead St. Wendelin with 20 points and 10 rebounds in the game.
With Cardinal Stritch focusing on the 6-foot-3 sophomore, the Mohawks used the pressure to their advantage with efficient ball movement in attacking the basket to knock off the Cardinals 47-27 Monday night in nonconference play.
“Every team tries to take Kam out and we know that. The girls are so unselfish and we have to be to win,” St. Wendelin coach Aaron Smith said. “We kept working the ball to catch the open shot and take it.”
The Mohawks (10-4) worked the ball around for 14 assists on the night, led by junior Makenzie McAfee with five.
“We had to work it around the perimeter and reverse it back to Kam inside so later in the game we could shoot perimeter shots,” McAfee said.
McAfee ignited the Mohawks’ offense early, scoring two buckets and assisting Troike in the first 2 minutes to establish a 6-0 lead.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals (6-9) didn’t get their only field goal of the quarter until Kali Hardy drove to the hoop with 3 minutes left.
The Cardinals scored first in the second quarter, but the Mohawks responded quickly with a 7-0 run, capped by a McAfee 3-pointer, to extend their lead to 17-5.
“Our feet were nailed to the ground,” Cardinal Stritch coach John Free said. “We didn’t put enough pressure on the outside girls to play effective defense.”
The Cardinals never found their offensive game, shooting 28 percent (10 of 35) from the floor and knocking down only 7 of 13 at the foul line.
“We have to come out with energy and hit the open girl when she breaks open instead of waiting until she was open,” Free said.
Meanwhile, the Mohawks connected on 60 percent (22 of 36) from the field and did not attempt a single free throw.
“We like to get our shooters to the line, but the shots were open and we didn’t have to force things. Usually, if you don’t go to the line, you don’t win,” Smith said.
Yet the Mohawks held a 27-12 lead at halftime and continued working the ball to the hoop.
McAfee and Allie Rutter each assisted Troike on a basket to start the third quarter and Edy Mowrey dished off to Rutter to give the Mohawks a 33-12 advantage.
“We’re really close since we don’t have a junior varsity team and there’s only 11 of us,” McAfee said. “We work well together passing the ball and knowing where the other person is if we’re driving.”
Rutter finished with 10 points, hitting 5 of 6 from the field, and tallied five rebounds and three assists.
McAfee popped in nine points, while Hailee Burns chipped in four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
“We’re really working on squaring more to the basket with a more consistent offensive game,” McAfee said. “We had a few-minute gap without scoring much, so that’s what we’ll work on.”
CeCe Gozdowski, Kama Hardy and Kali Hardy each had six points for the Cardinals.
Cardinal STrtich (27)
Gozdowski 2-2—6, Kal. Hardy 3-0—6, Kam. Hardy 2-2—6, Moran 1-0—2, J. Hardy 1-0—2, Merren 1-0—2, Mondragon 0-1—1, Rieker 0-0—0, Cronin 0-0—0, Niehaus 0-0—0, Moore 0-0—0, Rodriguez 0-0—0, McQueary 0-0—0. TOTALS: 10-32 7-13 — 27.
St. Wendelin (47)
Troike 10-0—20, Rutter 5-0—10, McAfee 4-0—9, Burns 2-0—4, Mowrey 1-0—2, Sukaphiboon 1-0—2, Krout 0-0—0, Weidner 0-0—0, Williams 0-0, Reineck 0-0—0. TOTALS: 22-36 0-0 — 47.
Cardinal Stritch 3 9 5 10 — 27
St. Wendelin 10 17 10 10 — 47
3-Point GOALS: Cardinal Stritch 0-3; St. Wendelin 1-3 (McAfee).
REBOUNDS: Cardinal Stritch 18 (Gozdowski 6); St. Wendelin 24 (Troike 10).
TURNOVERS: Cardinal Stritch 13; St. Wendelin 15.